Notre Dame-AmeriCorps: Helping Students Thrive

Director Pat McCormick with 2012-2013 volunteers serving in Northern California.

ND Mission Volunteers-AmeriCorps (NDMVA) began in 1992 with six volunteers and now has grown to more than 400 volunteers in 23 urban locations, three of which are in California–in Los Angeles, Watsonville and the San Francisco Bay Area. The volunteers can be found working in migrant worker camps, in English language classes for adults, in jails helping inmates learn to read, and in classrooms helping at-risk students. The program has helped countless people have better lives, and the volunteers reap wonderful benefits too!

I love seeing the progress my students are making, building relationships with them, and knowing that I’m helping strengthen their foundation for life-long learning.
– Lauren

I work as a teacher’s assistant to the Kinder and first and second grade teachers and in an after-school program. The children are wonderful, the staff is super supportive and I feel as if everyone is very excited and grateful about the work I do. – Amelia

This is my second year at this high school providing mentoring and tutoring support for at-risk students. I’m also coaching the JV soccer team. My goal this year is to see all my seniors graduate from high school. – Carlos

I am continually inspired by these high schoolers’ strength and ability to meet the challenges in their lives.  Even the smallest moments of joy in learning, growth, and in developing a sense of self-efficacy are what make these relationships in my work worth building.  – Emma

One of my fourth graders is very interested in science, so we’ve focused on the earth and earthquakes this year.  Next week we will be making our very own islands out of cookie dough, chocolate chips and sprinkles-yum!  – Elyse

In addition to government funding, Director Sister Catherine Corr SND is adept at soliciting matching funds to maintain and expand the program. NDMVA has high marks with the government for its good management, thanks to Sister “Cissy,” her staff, and to the leaders of local groups who are supported by local SND communities.